Two hay barns ingnited on a rural Jaffray-area property over Tuesday night, with 20 firefighters responding to the scene, according to the Regional District of East Kootenay.
Additional personnel, including assistance from the B.C Wildfire Service, were called in later Wednesday to help contain the fire from spreading.
“We got the call just after midnight and when we arrived on scene both large hay barns were fully involved,” said Dave Boreen, the Elk Valley and South Country Rural Fire Chief. “We have firefighters from Jaffray, Elko and Baynes Lake on scene along with a tender and three firefighters from the City of Fernie who were called in to assist. The homeowners also played a key role in containing the fire as they used an on site excavator to put in a guard around the fire.”
There were no injuries and the cause is not considered to be suspicious.
By the early morning, both fires were considered under control, however, fire personnel will remain on scene for the next several days to put out hot spots.
“While we have been able to contain both fires, they remain active within the perimeter in the hay and are generating a lot of smoke which can be seen for quite some distance,” said Boreen, later Wednesday. “We expect the fires could continue to generate smoke for quite some time.”
Crews have built a guard around the fire, laid down hose and installed sprinklers to keep the area wet.
“This was excellent work by all involved – the firefighters and the residents. These were large fires and with the dry conditions right now, they did incredible work to keep the blaze contained to the two barns,” Boreen added.
Smoke is expected to be visible along Highway 3 between Jaffray and Wardner bridge, particularly in the Rosicky Road area, according to the RDEK.